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Who takes US dollars?

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Who takes US dollars?

Will taxi drivers, restaurants and ?????? take US dollars? Where's the best place to exchange US dollars for colones? Are ATM machines readily available around Manuel Antonia Park? THis will be our first trip to C.R. and we're wondering what's the best way to pay for things. Thanks for any help.

La Fortuna de San...
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1. Re: Who takes US dollars?

I have never had anybody refuse dollars and we've been here for over a year and use them often. The banks are the best place to do cash exchange but I would just get money (Colones) out of the ATM. If you bring cash with you, just to go the bank with your passport and they'll change it for you...just a small commission fee. There is usually at least one small bank in any town you go to (however small the town is) and Manuel Antonio is no exception. :-)


Costa Rica
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2. Re: Who takes US dollars?

ATM's are everywhere and many of them will give you either colones or dollars.

Everyone will accept dollars but you may or may not get a good exchange rate. If you pay for something in dollars, you will get change in colones anyway.

I usually advise this: If the price is in dollars, pay in dollars. This will typically be hotels and tours. If the price is in colones, pay in colones. This will typically be taxis, restaurants, shops and grocery stores and buses.

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3. Re: Who takes US dollars?

We just got back from Costa Rica and found that US dollars were widely accepted even in taxis, restaurants, tours, hotels, gift shops. They will usually ask you how you are paying, colones or dollars. I always asked for US dollars for change. Some were able to accommodate and others were not. The colones I received as change I used for tips for guides, housekeeping, etc. ATM's are everywhere and they give you a choice of dollars or colones. Don't worry and have fun. Visa and Mastercard were also widely accepted.

Destination Expert
for Alajuela
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4. Re: Who takes US dollars?

We advise our guests to always have "some colones" on them . . after all it IS the currency of the country. If you stop at a soda (mom & pop restaurant) they do not much enjoy thinking in foreign currencies and wont give you an accurate exchange rate. And some taxistas will find a way to make a meter reading 4000 colones appear to mean $20.

I believe it is generally polite to use the local currency with local folk - but as the other responders noted already the bigger restaurants, all the hotels etc couldn't give a hoot.



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5. Re: Who takes US dollars?

You can spend US dollars almost anywhere. ATMs in some areas will distribute both currencies. Fred Phoenix, 3/27/11

Uvita, Costa Rica
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for Uvita, Ojochal
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6. Re: Who takes US dollars?

500 colones to 1 USD average exchange.

Nearly everyone will take USD but as mentioned exchange rates might varie

Good to have colones ask the price in colones first and then ask for exhange rate before you pay in dollars. If it sounds off pay in colones.

Tones of cash machines near Manuel Antonio dispensing colones and USD

Banks (not at the airport) give the best exchange rates though you might need to wait in line, easier tpo withdraw Colones on your ATM

Spokane, Washington
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7. Re: Who takes US dollars?

Just reread hatties post she usually gets things right and we found out the same things she is saying.


Monteverde Costa...
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8. Re: Who takes US dollars?

Another good place to exchange dollars is at supermarkets (especially the larger ones). Since there is a spread between buying and selling dollars a supermarket can take in dollars paying the same as a bank would for dollars and then save the usually 10 colon spread. They I would imagine need dollars for purchasing goods they sell that are imported and are paid for in dollars.

Here in Monteverde I spend dollars (even 100 dollar bills no problem) and like yesterday got a half colon bonus over what the bank was.

I cant speak for other areas but would assume it is similar.

Also our main supermarket here in Monteverde will give you a 5% discount if you buy 10,000 colones worth of items (about $19.50) and pay in cash (dollars or colones). Just say Descuento por favor when checking out.

As mentioned the change from your dollars will be in colones. So this way you can pay with a larger dollar bill and receive spending money colones.

Thanks for visiting Costa Rica and please spend a lot. Our economy can use it.

9. Re: Who takes US dollars?

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